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Funeral Set Tuesday for DPZ Zookeeper

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Visitation for friends and family of the Springfield zookeeper killed Friday in an incident with an elephant is today from 4 to 8 p.m. in DeSoto, Mo. Funeral services are slated for 11 a.m. Tuesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Visitation for friends and family of the Springfield zookeeper killed Friday in an incident with an elephant is today from 4 to 8 p.m. in DeSoto, Mo. Funeral services are slated for 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to the funeral home’s web site.

John Bradford, 62 was killed early Friday while feeding the animals at Dickerson Park Zoo, police say. The incident happened about 8:44 a.m. when elephant manager Bradford was with the animals in the elephant barn.

As he was coaxing the 41-year-old female, Patience, into a chute, she hesitated and Bradford leaned into the chute, reaching for her with a guide, according to a statement from the zoo.

The elephant suddenly lunged forward, which knocked Bradford down into the chute. The animal crushed Bradford against the floor, killing him instantly, the statement said.

For more information or to read an obituary for Bradford, check out the funeral home’s web site at www.dietrichfuneralhome.com or call the funeral home at (636) 586-3337.

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